Author: Han, Jianbo
Title: A policy framework for age-friendly community refurbishment in China : community environment and active ageing
Advisors: Chan, Hon Wan Edwin (BRE)
Lam, Tsun-ip Patrick (BRE)
Yung, Hiu-kwan Esther (BRE)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2022
Subject: Retirement communities -- China
Older people -- Services for -- China
Community development -- China
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Building and Real Estate
Pages: iv, [9], 197 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Nowadays, population ageing has become a significant concern for urban neighbourhood development. The concentration of older people residing in old neighbourhoods worsens the deterioration of living environments and service facilities. Meanwhile, age-friendly communities are thought to facilitate active ageing and empower older people to have positive roles in their neighbourhood development. Thus, age-friendly community development can be a solution to the "double ageing" issue of urban neighbourhoods.
On the other hand, age-friendly community development still lacks policy support. Among urban development agendas, age-friendly community development tends to have a lower policy priority. Thus, the incentives, invested resources, and sustainability of age-friendly community development would be declined. One of the measures to increase policy support for age-friendly community development is to integrate it with some other urban agendas preferred by policymakers, and, currently, old neighbourhood renovation can be one such urban agenda, especially in China. Thus, age-friendly community development and old neighbourhood renovation can mutually benefit.
This study aims to develop a framework to realise the integration of these two agendas through three sub-tasks: (1) theoretical development, (2) practical development, and (3) raising policy recommendations.
The theoretical development of age-friendly community studies was broadly reviewed in this study. Although the ecological theory is dominant in the research area, this study found that the theory of "the production of space" is more capable of analysing the barriers to age-friendly community development. The theory was used to underpin the policy framework development in this study. The framework has two dimensions: the strategic dimension and the component dimension. (1) The strategic dimension concerns community developers and users' spatial practices, including commercialisation, bureaucratisation, and expanding social relations. (2) The component dimension concerns the spatial representations of community developers and the representational spaces of community users, including community services, human activities, and housing functions.
This study operationalised the theoretical framework by taking Hong Kong as a pioneering case of age-friendly community development. First, the commercialisation of community services is the core measure to facilitate continuous neighbourhood development through age-friendly community development. Then, the commercialised human activities, bureaucratised human activities and bureaucratised community services can support commercialised community services. Lastly, community housing functions can be realised through the social relations expanded in community elderly services, which means the built environment of age-friendly communities should be developed in responding to the requirements of community elderly services.
As the central government's policies play an important role in China, in the last part of this study, some practical policy recommendations were given by investigating the related policies issued by the Chinese central government. A policy analysis tool was developed to evaluate the consideration of ageing issues. Chinese policies can well support community elderly services. The attention to the commercialised and bureaucratised community services, especially those for older people, has just emerged. Weaker policy support includes commercialised and bureaucratised human activities, housing functions and expanded social relations in community elderly services. These weaker points deserve further studies.
This study expands the application of "the production of space" in age-friendly community studies. From a practical perspective, this study provides a benchmark pathway to increase policy support for age-friendly community development, especially in old neighbourhoods. It also provides a framework to develop policy evaluation tools to support intelligent policymaking.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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